Prioritizing Health, Ain’t Just About Yours

Picture this…

You just received news that someone you love and care about had been diagnosed with cancer… it’s a bloody devastating moment.

You rush over to the hospital because you need to see if he or she is coping and because you know that someone would be counting on you to be there.

You get there only to be told that you would not be allowed to be in the same room for weeks…

…because you have a little cough and sniffly nose that has gone on for too long…

…because your special person’s immune system is destroyed from chemotherapy and could potentially, EASILY, catch an infection.  An infection he or she might not be able to fight off, increasing chance of fatality.

So you’re stuck there, right outside the ward room’s door, looking through the window, aching to reach out, to hug and kiss your muse, to say “I love you” and “You’re going to get through this”. ..but no, you’re pacing out there kicking yourself about why you’re not in better health.  The LITTLE cough and sniffly nose that your immune system is working to fight each day could be a bomb for a patient with zero working immune system.

Laying there, you can see the patient’s face, there’s a need for a long comforting hug, there’s a need to be held and be told he or she is not alone in this fight…but you gotta wait til you’re healthy enough.

NOW you start to pay attention to your health, sort out that cough and sniffly nose, study your daily stress triggers, have you been sleeping enough, what could be causing this lack of recovery from a little cough and sniffly nose, why do you always feel tired, have you scheduled in anytime to freakin’ CHILL (especially if you live in Hong Kong), is it the food that you’re eating affecting your mood and ability to recover…

We’re so caught up in the chase.

Yes.  Many of us are always chasing; some chase career ambitions, some chase money, some chase societal status…etc.  Is it odd that we don’t hear many people share that they would chase health over anything else?

“Oohh this cough? yeah it’s been about a month but ohhhh that’s nothing, it’ll go away, come on we got a deadline to work with here, but first, Coffee!”

“Clinics are just gonna give me the same damn thing I can get over the counter, I’ll save my money and just get some Ibuprofen from the pharmacy, same shit”

homer smart

We kinda forget that, in order to achieve what we envision, we could use a healthy body for the ride (mind and soul included, never detached in the first place, who started this whole mind-body-soul thing anyway?)


You probably are too.

Now, if you haven’t learned how to take a step back, reflect, dig deep and truly love yourself yet…

For the sake of your life partner, your mom, your dad, your brother, your sister, your best friend, whoever you are close to and will probably regret not being able to be there when they need you the most, PRIORITIZE HEALTH.

How? Many ways, try lots until something works for you.  Personally, perception is a heavy influence on my attitude, that includes being malleable.




Bits to share:

MIND TRAINING – The app called “Headspace” now has a “Cancer Pack”.  The creator of this app is a cancer survivor himself, very relatable to patients.  For unguided meditation, I find that sitting in a garden filled with birds chirping, with the scent of fresh dewy plants and a light breeze of fresh air REALLY helps, OR, sit on a quiet beach.  For active meditation, I put on a specific playlist, get lost in the music and allow the body to respond through movement.

NUTRITION – knowledge is wealth.  I don’t mean keep up with every magazine but actually studying journals, articles of science and other more credible sources.  If you dislike doing your own research, find a professional but more importantly, ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS.

EXERCISE – Get a teacher to teach you how to do them, this includes running with ideal running gait.  If your body is an Aston Martin, you wouldn’t take it to that dungy mechanic who has a questionable sobriety level, and whom you haven’t questioned about his working experience just so you could save a few bucks now, would you?  Personal Trainers range in rates; some charge more because they have more social media followers (I shall not rant. I shall not rant. I shall not rant.), some charge a lot less because they are new to the industry and are just hungry to get any clients they can.  You wanna pay peanut trading for caviar?  Go figure.  Honesty and communication, so ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS.

RELATIONSHIPS – not just the romantic ones but your friendships are relationships, your relationship with your mom, your dad, your brother, your sister, your co-worker, your boss, your neighbor, your teacher, your student and so on.  Now, having a great relationship to me isn’t about always meeting up or always be messaging each other; it comes down to the quality of time actually spent in each other’s presence.  Are you fully present when engaged in a conversation?  How are you trying to strengthen your connection?  What do you hold back about being honest with them?  Why can’t you stop making the conversation about you instead of holding space and listening intently?  Who do you feel worthy keeping in your life, and do you feel worthy of them having you in theirs?

Some of my favorite thinkers and speakers: Esther Perel and Jiddu Krishnamurti

SOLO TIME – Does the thought of eating out alone scare you?  Watch a movie alone?  Travel alone?  Please, don’t let it scare you.  You won’t know if you like it until you try it.  You also won’t realize how much you depend on external stimulants to feel secure about yourself.  All you need is a pinch of curiosity with big splashes of experiences, to get that potion of “finding yourself”.  In actuality, it’s the actions that you take for growth that forms who you are; we are always changing, and it’s not so bad 😉

HONESTY – accepting the cards I’ve been dealt with, be honest with fear, be honest with belief, be honest with expectations.

An honest moment, I was glad I didn’t read the report about having pneumonia until after I was given the OK to be discharged.  A little like a better-I-didn’t-know situation because I would have been highly concern anytime any visitors even breathe funny.

And honestly, I started out thinking this post will be a short one this time <emoji shrug>.

Next one will probably be a while, “checking in” at the hospital in Hong Kong tomorrow for the next chemo cycle, admittance is roughly a month.

My next post might just be…

cat sup

(IF I’m administered some highly competent painkillers again)



Published by Emily Lola Tan

I've been told that I'm tiny but tough, so I must have gotten SOME things right. On the inside, I feel like a mushy marshmellow who's a hopeless romantic and find corny cute. Writing "About Me" sections had evolved in the past x years of online profiles, currently, it sits at me still hungry for enlightening experiences and insightful traveling, particularly with human connections. My story at full length on the "About" page :) Thank you for poking around!

One thought on “Prioritizing Health, Ain’t Just About Yours

  1. ‘Sup beggar?…. She’s fighting, she’s winning 😉

    AML….. “Am M’fing Leaving!”
    Promise me you’ll record me a little video of that when you get your final discharge, I want some kind of twirl too, or fancy dance move x

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